23 September 2011

So do they make any firearms in Poland?

Some time ago on one of forums I frequent I got question by PM: do we make any own firearms in Poland? Answer, surprisingly is... yes, we do.

Following descriptions are not supposed to be in-depth and complete info no Polish firearm. Details can be googled easily. I just want to make brief introdution to what is being made.


Today only one Polish pistol in production is our Army service pistol wz. 94 WIST-94/94L (94L has integrated laser) in 9x19mm from Prexer. I may look strange but it is quite good, striker fired pistol. There is new version in works with Picatinny rail and changed barrel locking system, from 1911 style lugs into modified Browning locking in ejection port. FB Radom also assembles Walther P99, P99D RAD (PPQ) and PPS pistols and even make (very good) CHF barrels for them, but I do not consider this as Polish pistols. (photo Prexer)


Fabryka Broni Radom (former Łucznik aka "11") produces Polish own SMG PM-98 and PM-06 in  9x19mm. It is quite nice to shoot, handling better that it looks, but do not try to shoot full mag dump from the hip. It does not offer comfortable, if any, cheekweld. This is also problem with our rifles. (photo FB Radom)


Our main rifle is of AKM descent. Poland never adpoted AK-74, instead we had our own program to make rifle chambered in 5.45x39mm. Result is known in US wz. 88 Tantal. But just after we started to make Tantals, there were no Warsaw Pact anymore and Poland was on speed line to NATO. So Tantals never catch up (that is why so many of them were exported as kits). But Tantal was base for our current rifle in 5.56x45mm wz.96 Beryl and Mini-Beryl. Rifle serves our troop good in Iraq, Afghanistan on combat mision and several police or peacekeeping missions. But whole system is at verge of usability, so programs to develop new rifle are ongoing (google for MSBS aka Radon). (Mini Beryl photo FB Radom)

Machine guns

Polish machine guns were also of Russian construction. But lately we developed and started to make 7.62x51mm UKM-2000 "universal machine gun". It is made by ZM Tarnów, who also took production on PKM (still in use) and precision rifles. It looks very similar to PKM, but is internally very different. Our Army never catch up idea of small calibre machine guns, maybe this was good move.

Sniper rifles

After cancelling SWD-M (Polish SVD) Poland did not have own sniping rifle. It was changed with introduction of Tor (on the left), bulpup, bolt action rifle in 12.7x99mm, that was followed by Alex (adopted as Bor) in 7.62x51mm and Alex-338 in .338 Lapua Magnum. All rifles share same layout and it is very easy to mistake them. PCO developed day/night optical sighting system Bazalt for those rifles. This is that abomination visible on photos (below) of Alex (silenced version) and Alex-338.

Usefull links

Prexer - manufacturer of Wist-94/94L pistol

Fabryka Broni Radom - manufacturer of Beryl and Pm-98/06 (english)

Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów - manufacturer of UKM2000, Tor and Bor (Alex)


Due to very small civil market for firearms and complete focus on military orders our industry does not have big and moder offers. Also prices they ask (civilian Beryl >$1100, civilian Mini-Beryl >$1250) are hight. Other problem with those products came from surprising fact: people who make requirements for products and those who design those products do not... shoot. They do not know how those firearms are used and what is needed. Small light of hope come from MSBS project, where design of ergonomic features was done by people who shoot as hobby and are active... ASG players. Better that, than nothing.

(photos taken by author at MSPO 2011 fairs, unless described other way)

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